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Injury Gives New Motivation to Cairns
(12 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Preparing for next month's Commonwealth Games in India, British Olympian Imogen Cairns told IG she is stronger and more motivated than ever following her recovery from surgery on both feet.

Imogen Cairns at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, where she placed first on vault, second with the English team and fourth all-around.

"I thought that getting to the Olympics in 2008 would satisfy me, but having battled through injury, I just have something inside me that tells me I have much more to give," said Cairns, 21.

Cairns injured both feet during a floor exercise at a competition after the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Two operations on both feet kept her on crutches for eight months.

"My surgeon is amazed at my progress, but it has been a long haul," said Cairns, who is coached by Liz Kincaid at The Academy in Portishead, England.

Cairns' return to competition this summer has been successful. She placed first on vault and fifth all-around at the British Championships in July; and first on vault (tied with teammate Jennifer Pinches) and first on floor exercise at the Great Britain vs. Romania dual meet in August.

Next on Cairns' agenda will be the Commonwealth Games that will take place Oct. 3-14 in Delhi, where she will compete for England. (British nations compete individually at the Commonwealth Games.) Cairns placed first on vault, second with the English team and fourth all-around at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

Although Cairns is not on the British roster for the world championships that will take place Oct. 12-16 in Rotterdam, she said she is hopeful to earn a spot through a good performance in Delhi.

"In Delhi, I'd love to medal on vault and achieve a place in the floor final, as well as help the team to gain a medal," she said. "I need to prove myself for the team in Rotterdam, so that's the first important step towards worlds for me. I aim to return from the Commonwealths and catch the team up in Rotterdam. I'm just waiting to see what plans our (British team) technical director has."

At the midway point of the 2012 Olympic cycle, Cairns said she is inspired by the progress she has made, physically and mentally, since Beijing.

"Having been through the 'highs' of the Olympics and 'lows' of injury, I can honestly say I now take things step by step," Cairns said. "I learn from successes and setbacks, and put these to good use. I think I've matured, and I set myself personal goals. The Commonwealth Games is my next major milestone and I'm looking forward to it."

As younger gymnasts challenge Cairns for spots on the British team from now until the London 2012 Games, she said she still has much to offer.

"Mainly maturity and experience, I guess!" she told IG. "I'm an old hand, really, and I like to think I can support the youngsters and provide a calming influence."

Comments (1)add comment

cngymnast said:

good don't let anything stop you.smilies/wink.gif
September 07, 2010
Votes: +2

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